Real Name: He claims it's Paladin. That's even what it says on his passport and credit cards. Any true name he may have had prior to assuming his costumed guise remains unknown, though he has used the rather transparent alias Paul Denning.
First Appearance: Daredevil 150
What's His Problem? Paladin's a super-powered hero for hire, though only the wealthy can afford his services. A materialistic hedonist and legendary ladykiller, the globe-trotting Paladin often seems to value nothing but money; however, his swashbuckling spirit and sense of honor sometimes compel him to altruistic acts against his better judgment.
Powers: Paladin's strength, speed, stamina and reflexes are all slightly superhuman; he can lift up to one ton of weight unaided. He is also a highly skilled hand-to-hand combatant, marksman, actor, espionage agent, bodyguard and detective.
Weapons: Paladin's favorite weapon is his stun gun, which disrupts the nervous system sufficiently to render most people unconscious. He has also employed a variety of conventional weaponry and firearms. His padded costume protects him from most impacts and small arms fire. The lenses of his mask can be converted for infra-red vision, and a concealed faceplate can slide into place to fully seal his mask. Thus sealed, the suit has its own internal air supply.
Favorite Quote: "Just between you and me, those other guys can keep their secret identities and underground headquarters. Let the mutants save a world that fears and hates them. Me? I'll take a Coke and a smile--and five grand a day, plus expenses." Marvel Comics Presents 21
Heroes He Keeps Running Into: Paladin has an odd love-hate relationship with many of his fellow heroes; he'll cheerfully aid them if it furthers his assignment or if the mood strikes him, but he'll also fight them if they interfere with his job. Heroes he's encountered include Daredevil, Dazzler, Captain America and the Defenders. He's also been a recurring ally to Spider-Man, the Wasp and the Avengers.
People Who Think He's Not So Bad: The egocentric Paladin may well be his own biggest fan, but other folks are pretty fond of him, too. He used to date the Wasp, a rich, superficial, materialistic costumed adventurer--in short, his perfect match. They made a fun couple during Roger Stern's Avengers run, but the relationship seems to have evaporated without explanation under subsequent writers: Wasp went back to her wife-beating ex-spouse and Paladin went back to chasing skirts around the world. Captain America's gal pals, the mercenary BAD Girls, seemed to enjoy their sleep-overs at Paladin's penthouse. One of the few women to resist Paladin's charms is his frosty frequent employer, the mercenary Silver Sable; their mutually respectful relationship is strictly professional. Captain America, Daredevil and Spider-Man have also developed a grudging professional admiration for Paladin despite their ideological differences with him.
Most Despicable Act: Apart from his infamous womanizing, Paladin's most despicable acts are occasional fatalities in the line of duty--though like the vanishing Wasp relationship, that's probably due largely to inconsistent writing. For instance, his chosen weapon was a stun gun from the start and in most of his subsequent appearances--but an early Marvel Premiere story has the same gun firing bullets, lots of them, with cheap crooks dropping like flies (in one especially callous scene from that story, Paladin dumps a slain thug in a garbage can). Several recent Silver Sable stories have also shown Paladin using uncharacteristically lethal force. Whether future stories will ever address these unsavory inconsistencies remains to be seen.

by Sean McQuaid

Paladin Mug Shots

DareDevil 150

Paladin asks some questions...

Amazing Spider-Man 320

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